Byzantine: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (biz'un-tēn", -tīn", bī'zun-, bi-zan'tin), [key]
— adj.
  1. of or pertaining to Byzantium.
  2. of or pertaining to the Byzantine Empire.
  3. noting or pertaining to the architecture of the Byzantine Empire and to architecture influenced by or imitating it: characterized by masonry construction, round arches, impost blocks, low domes on pendentives, the presence of fine, spiky foliage patterns in low relief on stone capitals and moldings, and the use of frescoes, mosaics, and revetments of fine stone to cover whole interiors.
  4. pertaining to or designating the style of the fine or decorative arts developed and elaborated in the Byzantine Empire and its provinces: characterized chiefly by an ecclesiastically prescribed iconography, highly formal structure, severe confinement of pictorial space to a shallow depth, and the use of rich, often sumptuous color.
  5. (sometimes l.c.) complex or intricate: a deal requiring Byzantine financing.
  6. (sometimes l.c.) characterized by elaborate scheming and intrigue, esp. for the gaining of political power or favor: Byzantine methods for holding on to his chairmanship.
  7. of or pertaining to the Byzantine Church.
  1. a native or inhabitant of Byzantium.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
See also: